Wasatch Academy students told to stay home, take classed on Internet starting March 25
By Doug Lowe
MT. PLEASANT—In response to the new coronavirus, one of the area’s major employers, Wasatch Academy, is changing its operation to protect public health, while unintentionally hurting the local and regional economy.
In an announcement to the school’s staff and students, Wasatch Academy Head of School Joseph Loftin informed all students to remain home or go home when Spring Break ended, on Monday, March 23, and prepare themselves to continue their education via the internet beginning Wednesday, March 25.
Loftin also informed all faculty members to return to campus, and prepare themselves to start teaching all their students online by that same Wednesday. In addition, effective with Loftin’s announcement, all of the school’s administrative staff began working from their respective homes as much as possible.
Talking about his decision to drastically change the school’s mode of operation, Loftin explained, “My heart goes out to everyone impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and the fight to curb its spread in our community. The health and safety of the community is the most important consideration in responding to the coronavirus. How can one measure economic considerations above human life?”
So, gone are the Wasatch students who used to patronize area businesses. Gone are the bus loads carrying students to Walmart, the students walking to nearby places like Terrell’s, Wheeler’s, Rodgers Dairy Freeze or one of the town’s two pizza parlors. In addition, the school will no longer be ordering large quantities of food stuffs to prepare in its cafeteria.
The changes initiated by Loftin will undoubtedly prove painful to many business, big and small, local or more distant. Loftin knew all that when he made the difficult decision that he did. Hopefully, it will turn out to be for the best—and a short-lived change before things soon return to normal.